Gruss began his studies for the priesthood at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa where he earned a bachelor's degree in theology in 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 1993 and Master in Spiritual Theology in 1994 from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Davenport by Bishop William Franklin at Sacred Heart Cathedral on July 2, 1994. He has served as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City in South Dakota since 2011. In 2019 he was named the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw in Michigan.
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